After a fire, there are some things you can do to minimize damage. Smoke damage is perhaps worse than the fire damage itself and can last forever if you don’t take quick action to save your floors, walls and belongings. The smell could hang around for months, and you don’t want that.
Consider these three tips if you’re planning to clean up smoke damage yourself:
- Use effective cleaning products. Air fresheners from a discount store won’t do the job because they just add more smells. Clean walls with a solution of baking soda and vinegar mixed together in a pale. Vinegar is a mild acid that will break down a smoky smell, and the smell of the vinegar will soon fade away with no residual odor. Setting out activated charcoal in bowls around the area can also help, as can bowls of straight vinegar.
- Deep clean furniture and soft furnishings. After smoke damage, upholstered items will need a deep clean if there’s any hope of them returning to normal. Mixing two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly spraying all upholstery surfaces may help. You can add lemon zest for some freshness if you like. Clothing can be washed if the smoke smell is light, but always add vinegar to eliminate the smell. If clothing smells really bad, however, it can make the machine smell bad for weeks or months.
- Use HEPA filters. HEPA-style air filters can do a lot to eliminate a smoky smell. They get small odor particles right out of the air, but you’ll need to clean air filtration systems and replace filters often. Consider using an ionic air filtration machine that adds helpful ozone to the air to get rid of odors. Just remember that smoke particles that have already settled can’t be removed with air filters.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? If you don’t want to deal with DIY fire damage restoration and instead want the speed, certainty and ease of professional fire damage and smoke damage restoration, call us at (619) 376-6838. We have powerful and effective tools and equipment that we can put to work for you.